Misty Webbing Hop.

No matter where you are in the world, the next time you get up early on a weekend morning, especially after a dewy night: go out! Be it in the grasses or near the bottom of hedges or just about anywhere, you’re quite likely to find spider webs that are bursting with dewy goodness.

Trapdoor spider (The same?)

Spider webs provide an excellent surface for dew condensation (I’m guessing that there are lots of nucleation sites,) and it doesn’t matter if it’s an orb web, a three-dimensional web or a funnel web like that of the wolf spider above, they’ll stand out shining.

And if you pay enough attention, you’ll find the spider hidden underneath the waterdrops somewhere.

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Misty Webbing Hop.

Bipolar dragonflies.

Last week I had shared a single photograph of the Wandering Glider, Pantala flavescens. Thought I might share some more today.

Maybe an entomologist or a dragonfly expert might be able to tell me better: but dragonflies appear to be quite bipolar, having two extreme states of behaviour. One is where they’re constantly flitting about, changing direction mid-air and never resting. A couple of times I have kept my eye on a single dragonfly and found that they can do that for over ten minutes. Maybe much more.

31358404-Golden_Dragonfly_2The other is where they become living statues, sometimes even non-responsive to light contact. I am not sure whether these are metabolic states of the dragonflies, age regimes, or something else entirely. So they’re either hyperactive or they are zombies. Coolio.


Dragonflies are quite colourful and pretty as they come, but I always found the lack of any substance at the back of their head a bit… disconcerting. [Flashback to the Temple of Doom, with chilled monkey brains for dessert. Yum.]

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Bipolar dragonflies.

It’s mine, I tell you.

Today’s critter is a Wolf Spider with a no-nonsense attitude.


Usually wolf spiders that dwell in holes or funnel webs beat a quick retreat into their holes when a camera lens comes looking. Not this guy. He’s recently (?) dragged in a dragonfly, and he’s not about to give it up to anyone. Not without a fight, at any rate.

Their eyesight is not exactly as good as that of jumping spiders, but I’ve never had one of those get into a staring contest with my camera before. Standing over a kill, mammals usually growl under their breath. Spiders just give you a look.

Oh, and I’ll probably be off on a little trip with the folks by the time you read this! Heading down to Mysore and thereabouts, there are a bunch of old temples that have slipped under my radar, and then there are some that I haven’t checked out since I was 10. Follow me on Twitter and keep an eye on my other photo blog It’s a long way to Thipparalli if you want to know more.

Cheerio. Tomorrow’s post has been uploaded as well. Fear not, you shall have it in your inbox / facebook wall feed / google reader / source of choice. 🙂

Continue reading “It’s mine, I tell you.”

It’s mine, I tell you.

The Golden Dragon wanders.

Today’s offering is a golden dragonfly, called the Wandering Glider, Pantala flavescens. I may have tweaked the saturation a little, but believe you me, that was one richly coloured dragonfly. Turns out that it’s also considered the most widely distributed dragonfly in the world. Pity that it has so few good photos then. Tell me if I’m wrong, but the photo in this post is better than anything on the wiki page.

28 Golden Dragonfly 7

And even if I say so myself, I have better ones still up my sleeve. 🙂

Now all I need to do is follow this up with a picture of a silver stag and a copper star. And then we can all go Dance.

Continue reading “The Golden Dragon wanders.”

The Golden Dragon wanders.

Curiosity did not kill the jumper.

Good morrow, gentle folk.

I thought I’d elaborate on what I was talking about back on Wednesday eve. Jumping spiders are truly tough to beat in any posing contest amongst critters. I think that comes in part because of the size of their primary two eyes, which are large enough to throw up reflections of their surroundings. Think anime eyes and their exaggerated expressions.

The other part is their apparent curiosity. Again, this is connected to their large eyes. Jumping spiders, like most other spiders, have a LOT of eyes – usually six or eight. Now, all but two of these are fairly rudimentary in function: some can only make out light and shadow, others some minimal detail.

The two primary eyes (called Anterior Medial eyes, for those interested) are quite something else, though. One of the best set of eyes in the invertebrate world, the eyes are telescopic in nature, recording an extraordinary amount of detail. The eyes also have four different kinds of receptor cells, giving them the ability to perceive four distinct colours (humans, in comparison, have only three different types,) giving them a visible range stretching from near UV to the near IR spectrum.

The apparent curiosity of theirs comes in because of this: their tiny little brains take a second or more to process all the incredibly rich visual information that comes their way, so they often stay still in that time.

The usual experience of a photographer with a jumping spider (that’s not too jumpy) usually goes like this: You approach the spider; the spider “takes cognizance” of you and quickly turns to look at you; the doe eyes stay focused on you for a few seconds; if you move or go closer, the spider usually jumps backwards while continuing to face you; you click some more pictures.


That may not sound like much in print, but that’s pretty awesome for a photographer. ^_^

Continue reading “Curiosity did not kill the jumper.”

Curiosity did not kill the jumper.

Curiouser and curiouser.

As a photographer, and a spider photographer at that, there’s little that gives you more pleasure than having a critter react positively to your presence.

Jumping spiders are great for that, with their big doe eyes (with a few extra thrown in for good measure) always giving you and your camera far more attention than you deserve. I might’ve compared them to cats earlier, but they are almost canine in this regard.

I’ll elaborate on them later, perhaps, but for now, I hope you like this critter as much as I do.


Continue reading “Curiouser and curiouser.”

Curiouser and curiouser.